Nexus 5 gets a hardware revision, currently shipping with new speaker grill and fixed buttons

Nexus 5 gets a hardware revision, currently shipping with new speaker grill and fixed buttons
Google and LG have apparently listened to some customer complaints about the first batches of their Nexus 5 joint venture, and have improved on the areas identified as a minor nuisance in the first month or so of real life usage.

The current batches seemingly ship with improved buttons feel, screen frame and SIM tray, as well as new speaker grill. The keys in the first units felt a tad wobbly, the frame was too sharp, and the SIM card tray didn't fit nicely, but was rather protruding over the side surface a bit. 

Those have all been remedied by the dynamic LG-Google duo, but the most notable difference is that the microphone and speaker grill openings at the bottom are now larger, allowing the sound waves to roam freely. There are probably some other subtle improvements, though reports are that some of the new Nexus 5 units are now arriving with too warm screen tones, so you can't have it all, it seems. 

It is not set in stone that if you have an older hardware revision of Google's phone with the smaller speaker grill openings, you'll have the other issues like the iffy buttons and SIM tray, but the opposite seems to be true - if you just ordered a Nexus 5, and it arrived with the larger speaker and microphone cover opening at the bottom, chances are that the other fledgling issues are resolved in it, too. From the looks of it, most of the older revision issues are concentrated in the 32 GB white Nexus 5, obtained from the Play Store, which is explicable, given that it is likely the phone's version with the slowest sales rotation. 

source: OP (XDA-Devs) via PocketDroid

Related phones

Nexus 5
  • Display 5.0 inches
    1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera)
    1.3 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, 2GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB,
  • Battery 2300 mAh
  • OS Android 6.0 Marshmallow



37. geodude074

Posts: 99; Member since: Mar 05, 2013

I have a white 32 GB Nexus 5. I have none of the issues reported in this article.

30. scriptwriter

Posts: 396; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

i dont know what to make of this. I have no issues with my 'first batch edition' Nexus 5. Im happy to keep mine for this simple fact. 2-3 years down the line when i may sell it, i could use this as a selling point.

29. Deaconclgi

Posts: 405; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

I just got my White 32GB Nexus 5 last week.......without having another N5 to compare it to, I can't tell which one I have. Is there a place in the Android OS to se the Hardware Revision number?

27. zombiewolf115

Posts: 38; Member since: Jul 16, 2013

am sorry but, i honestly dont see the problem of "wobbly" buttons or a "sharp" frame just wat? and am pretty sure most of the people who buy a nexus 5 wouldnt notice any difference of audio changes from making the speaker holes a bit bigger it just seems like people are complaining for nothing

21. jkc120

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 13, 2013

I think I have one of these (it has the larger speaker holes). However, they still haven't addressed the buzzy/loud vibration motor in this thing. This is my 3rd, and all 3 have had the loud/buzzy vibrator issue that I'm really surprised isn't getting more attention. Of the 8 I've held (3 of them mine, 5 of friends or in local T-Mo/Spr stores), SEVEN have had the loud whirly/buzzy vibrator.

31. Furbal unregistered

This is probably my only real complaint about my nexus 5 so far, the vibration does feel odd.. Using a stand alone app to test it it feels fine though, it is like the notifications/haptic feedback isn't spinning up the motor quickly enough


Posts: 650; Member since: Nov 20, 2011

is no google play credit or anything for the first batch for dedicated fans of the device and platform?

26. av911 unregistered

Speak English.

16. bubbadoes

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 03, 2012

Looks exactly like an iphone 5 and up!!! Come on Google!!!

14. _PHug_

Posts: 482; Member since: Oct 11, 2011

Those updates are so minor they are not worth mentioning. You have to be EXTREMELY anal to want this "new" model over the original.

13. TwentyWendy

Posts: 65; Member since: Aug 12, 2013

Early droid bird just got trolled :)

34. andynaija

Posts: 1268; Member since: Sep 08, 2012


12. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

Rather than the speaker, I'd rather see a slit grill for the ear speaker instead of a round one that doesn't tolerate even the slightest movements, lest one hears nothing then.

6. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Speakers improvements are welcome but I don't think the buttons upgrade is fine, because older ones were looking good to press easily. Updated bros Nexus 4 to 4.4.2.

4. aayupanday

Posts: 582; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

Some decent loudspeaker performance bump has been observed after the 4.4.2 update... Sounds alot better.

5. TerryCrowley

Posts: 194; Member since: Jul 31, 2011

Oh good I thought I was the only person to notice. Before, I could barely hear my lock screen opening/closing. Now I hear it everytime. Same with all of the notification sounds and ringtones. They all have a lot more clarity now that their volumes been increased.

15. hadouken

Posts: 18; Member since: Dec 12, 2012

First thing I did after the update was a camera test, and I noticed a louder camera capture sound. I couldn't tell the different when playing videos and I didn't see any mention of sound update for 4.4.2. I also thought it was just me.

1. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

When they do this kind of update is basically giving the earlier buyers the middle finger. The very first batch of people who buy a Nexus phone are usually a Nexus fan, but they are basically getting the 95% completion model.


Posts: 1461; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

I agree with this they should bring them all back for the upgrade.....I read about this a few days ago, and I am wondering what to do. I don't seem to have this issue at all I don't think however; my phone is in a case, and I worry about future issues arising with this.

7. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

If it's not an issue with your phone then don't worry about it...

9. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Right, because Apple did that with all iPhone 5 models, Samsung did that with all S3 models and anyone that ever stream lined a product just did a full recall. This is how ALL products work, if you notice the change then it was major, otherwise minor revisions are happening all the time.

3. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

Early buyers are not forced to buy the phone the day it is released, are not forced to stand in lines in front of Apple stores, and so on. These issues happen with every phone, and every phone has different hardware revisions to improve its flaws. The choice between being an early adopter or waiting to see how the product performs and if it has some flaws that must be corrected is yours.


Posts: 1461; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

I slightly agree, and mostly disagree with what you typed. When products are flawed it is not the fault of the person that bought it early. It is due to poor quality control, and oversight. When "FLAWS" are found in a product to save money unless death or injury can occur the end user is burdened with discovering these issues. You seem to think that the burden should rest with the end user, and sometimes manufacturers do as well until a catastophy happens. However; when you purchase a product there is an unspoken agreement between you and the manufacturer that the product is safe, and will fucntion as intended or described. You then enter into a unspoken binding contract that the product will be safe and perform resonably as expected when surrendering your cash. When flaws arise some consumers may be oblivious to said issues, and the Manufacturer seems to take a you don't ask we won't tell position, and correct the flaws, and never say anything about it usually unless in some cases death happens. Law suits usually compels them to address the problem. So...yes the consumer should look for flaws but in the end it is the MFG's repsonsibility to make good, but in order to protect stock profits it is usually silently pushed upon the consumer to discover them. That said if I buy a product 1st off the assembly line or last I expect it to perform a certain way after my cash is surrenedered, and when flaws appear I would expect to be notified of said flaws to protect my investment in their product, and to keep me and other consumers coming back. However; for the sake of stock profit most will never know of issues sometimes until too late or something causes a fatality in some instances. No, I don't expect death by cell phone but some companies have had phones explode because of never know. It will be interesting to see how they handle this issue going forward. My fear is that when flaws like this happen you feel like since you don't have the issue showing up today it could rear its ugly head tomorrow thus finding yourself out of warranty. Remember GM, and many American car MFG's let inferior cars roll of the assembly line, which gave rise to foriegn competiton! When the consumer becomes leery or Jaded it is hard to win them back.

18. tedkord

Posts: 17519; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I have to disagree with you. These weren't flaws like the iPhone 4 antenna, which hampered the function of the device. These were just areas where people said it could be a little better. The buttons may have felt a little loose prior, but they worked. The speaker grill may not have been optimal, but it worked. It would be nice of Google to replace older models or give a play store credit, but it's not required.


Posts: 1461; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

You are corect Ted in that aspect, However; its a quality aspect of "goods rendered for tender clause". When goods are rendered for cash/"tender" a reasonable expected quality expectation should be met. Buttons wobbly/loose, and simm trays offset with poorly designed speakers, and mike grilles are defects that would fall under that law. Any consumer would expect to find no defects in a products buttons for sound or power, because they could malfunction and break. Those products are worn/loose/defective before usagage, and probably would have a higher chance of breaking sooner than those that are not. These issues had they been massive would cause a savy lawyer to bring a class action suit just because of the "cash for tender" reasonable expectation of a product. Consumers should not have to put up with defective products because it is not as bad as another MFG's defective product....a defect is a defect. The problem with failing buttons is that they can render the device un usable if those said buttons continue to deteriorate, and may even deteriorate faster because of the defect....that's unacceptable. The other defect's are not as overbearing as the buttons, but they were addressed because the MFG did think them to be worthy of changing. The mic, and speaker aren't too bad, and I some what agree with you about this point here. Google to my understanding is taking back the ones with defective buttons with out any issues, which is a good sign of good faith.

19. tedkord

Posts: 17519; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Exactly. The Galaxy S3 had revisions to the chipset during its run to use less juice, that didn't entitle me to a new one because I had rev1. The phone still functioned as it was supposed to.


Posts: 1461; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

No, because this was more or less an improvement on technology rather than a defect. I can buy a product that uses more energy now, but next week they can improve on that products energy performance. I may want that but they would not be required to give me the new product isnce my product worked within reason. It's like the GS4 or the Note 3 not having tri band for Sprint users and now they are offering tri band GS4's for Sprint in a few weeks. The early adopters lose on that, but had they done their home work like many including myself they would have waited for a Note 4, or GS5. Even those that buy a GS4 with triband at this point should wait for the GS5 thats about to launch early next year. However; This early adoption is different than defective parts expectations.

10. JakeLee

Posts: 1021; Member since: Nov 02, 2013

I agree with you to some degree, but sometimes it's the other way around : cost savings. C'est la vie.

11. PootisMan

Posts: 267; Member since: Aug 02, 2013

I normally would be angry about this, but the fact is that with my Nexus 5 I don't have any of the issues written about above.

20. ohiojosh78

Posts: 32; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

I have to respectfully disagree with you here. This is the sign off a company who actually listens to it's customers and acts quickly to resolve any issues. I can't even count how many times I have had similar problems and been basically ignored even with overwhelming evidence. Every other company wants to deny, deny, deny any problems. Not only has Google listened to us but they overhauled their product IN AROUND 1 MONTH! That's unheard of. While early adopters are usually the most diehard supporters, they also realize they are taking a chance by jumping in so early on. Then again they always have the option to return or swap out phones. All Nexus 5s are still under warranty. Anyone can swap them out. So no, the first group of people didn't get the "middle finger" I personally purchases 4 of the 32gb Nexus 5s. I had issues with all 4 of them, so I returned all 4 of them. I knew a fix would be coming but figured it wouldn't be until next year sometime. Google listened, learned and acted quickly. What would you have them do, keep producing the same broken phone? If you have a day 1 edition and are not happy, swap it. It's that simple.

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